Monday, April 30, 2007

What is Denialism?

Here is a take on a politically charged word, "denialism". I have coem out against using the word before due to its charged nature. I'm still not using it but maybe I'll put myself a little closer to the fence than I used to be.
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Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one's viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions.

Examples of common topics in which denialists employ their tactics include: Creationism/Intelligent Design, Global Warming denialism, Holocaust denial, HIV/AIDS denialism, 9/11 conspiracies, Tobacco Carcinogenecity denialism (the first organized corporate campaign), anti-vaccination/mercury autism denialism and anti-animal testing/animal rights extremist denialism. Denialism spans the ideological spectrum, and is about tactics rather than politics or partisanship.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Loosing the War

“Fighting Al Qaeda involves a security side and an ideological side. The security side is successful, but the other side of combating Al Qaeda is ideological and it is not successful.”

al Qaeda's goal here is fairly clear. The present world power structure is largely built on the backs of a U.S./Saudi agreement of sorts wrt oil and investments. The weakest link is in Saudi Arabia (closer to the radicalized population) and that weakness is now being exploited. They believe if they take the present Saudi government down then they bring the U.S. down with it. Energy independence never looked so good (and the war in Iraq never looked so stupid).
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, April 27 — Saudi security officials said Friday that they had broken up a vast terrorist ring, arresting 172 men who planned to blow up oil installations, attack public officials and military posts, and storm a prison to free terrorist suspects.

Officials said that the suspects had trained abroad, in Somalia, Afghanistan and especially Iraq. The chaos in Iraq has fueled radical ideology among the region’s youth, while providing an environment for militants to train
Some suspects had begun training to use weapons and others had been sent abroad to learn to pilot aircraft, though the authorities did not say what, specifically, the pilot training was intended for.

“We have never actually said we have reached an end,” General Turki said in an interview. “We always confirm that security forces’ efforts are not enough. Not unless you really tackle the ideology that is inspiring these people in order to be involved in these activities.”

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Verizon Deals

Deals you might pull off when working with Verizon sales reps.
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A former sales rep for phone compaby, Verizon, got in touch with The Consumerist to help deal shoppers get the edge whilst in the store.

It’s a handy 8 stepper just to make sure you’re on the same playing field as the reps.

  • Never get a 2-year contract.

  • Verizon reps get tons of money from new lines and certain accessories and text packages, take advantage of this.

  • Mention the lost or stolen program to get 25% off a new phone, even if you’re under contract.

  • If you’re on a rate plan of $59.99 or higher, you can get “a new phone (and new contract) for the discounted price after 12 months.”

  • Insurance is a rip-off.

  • Tell them you’ll sign up for the Unlimited Data Plan with your Treo.

  • Reps don’t get as much money if you’re still in a contract.

  • Ask for a loyalty credit on the phone before going to the store.
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